Dec 11 Soaring oil and gas production will
propel North America into becoming a net energy exporter by
2025, Exxon Mobil Corp said in its annual energy
More than half of the growth in unconventional natural gas
supply over the next two decades will be in North America, Exxon
said in the report.
Recent drilling innovations such as hydraulic fracturing
have unlocked vast shale oil and gas reserves, leading to a
surge in production and reducing the United States' dependence
on foreign energy.
Companies including Exxon have already lined up to get
permission to ship the country's cheap natural gas overseas. The
only gas export terminal approved by the United States so far is
Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana.
The Energy Information Administration said last Wednesday
that U.S. natural gas production would grow faster than expected
through the next two decades, paving the way for the country to
be a net gas exporter as early as 2016.
The International Energy Agency said last month that the
United States will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the
world's top oil producer by 2017 and North America will become a
net oil exporter by 2030.
Natural gas, which emits up to 60 percent less carbon
dioxide than coal when used for electricity generation, is
expected to overtake coal by 2025 as the second most-used fuel,
according to the Exxon report.
Exxon expects natural gas, which has been one of its biggest
investment areas in recent years, to account for 30 percent of
global electricity generation by 2040 compared with less than 25
Power plants in the United States are already using less
coal as they switch to more efficient plants fired by natural
Exxon said developing nations such as India and China will
drive global energy demand, which is expected to increase 35
percent between 2010 and 2040.